I’m not much of a shopper. Oh, I like to go with gal pals and wander and look. But I totally lose my girl card if it comes to “loving to shop”. When I read an article from Daily Health titled “Scientists Say That Traveling Makes Us Much Happier Than Any Material Wealth”, I nodded my head in agreement and knew this was a platform I could stand on. The article addressed the issue of the temporary joy of spending money. I think this is something we have learned since our mom’s gave us some coins to spend at the store. The excitement of the selection, the thrill of the purchase, and then the pleasure as you get used to your new possession. But as time passes and the new becomes old, and our level of satisfaction decreases. This applies to everything from yo-yo’s to yachts. Then we feel compelled to go shopping (or maybe go spending is more accurate) for the next thing that will bring us joy and the cycle repeats itself over and over.

The editorial goes on to report that according to research conducted at Cornell University, it was revealed “that people experience the same amount of happiness when making a purchase they want and when they travel.” Heck, I could have told them that. Want to know why? Because the memories of the traveling experience stay with you, they don’t age like last season’s handbag.

Making the commitment of the trip with the payment may be the same high, but those same happy hormones hang on years down the road. When son Caleb turned 18, I asked him if he wanted “stuff” or a memory. He said, “Memory!” (I was happy) I told him I was thinking of taking him on a trip, he could invite a friend. (He was happy) I asked him where he’d like to go, and he replied, “Surprise me.” (I was thrilled)

Of course I have my memories of the planning and preparations, but when that trip comes up for us to tell, I LOVE to hear him recount the whole experience. I’m even thinking as the years go by, the story gets better. It sounds like he had even more fun than I recall. (I am delighted over and over and over)

I could have bought him a stereo. I’m sure it would be long gone by now and neither of us would remember it. Telling the story wouldn’t be nearly as fun and probably wouldn’t get better as the years go by the way our trip to Chicago does. Money very well spent, and it wasn’t that it was that much money. It was the gift of the experience and the memories.

I’m going to encourage all of us to make memories this summer. When those grandkids show up, plan some adventures! We have lots of affordable and great attractions here in Northeast Oklahoma to enjoy. Load up and go see a fireworks display! OK, so there is traffic, and there are people.....trust me, your gang will remember that time together long after the toy selected at Wal-Mart is forgotten.

Travel, Daily Health and I agree, it’s good for you.

Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or pb@goodtogowithpb.com.